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Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Resigns Amid Scandal

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

Shamil Atakhanov (left, in file photo) previously headed the Kyrgyz National Security Committee.

Shamil Atakhanov (left, in file photo) previously headed the Kyrgyz National Security Committee.

BISHKEK -- One of Kyrgyzstan's deputy prime ministers, Shamil Atakhanov, has resigned amid scandal over the early release of a reputed crime boss whose seemingly lax treatment in prison caused further ripples.

Atakhanov announced the move on June 6, saying only that dissension in the cabinet prompted his decision.

Last week, the Kyrgyz parliament called for the resignations of several top officials, including Atakhanov, saying they were responsible for the early release in April of convicted criminal Aziz Batukaev.

In 2006, Batukaev was sentenced to almost 17 years in prison for involvement in several crimes, including the murder of a Kyrgyz lawmaker and an Interior Ministry official.

Prison officials said the decision to grant him the early release was based on a medical report that Batukaev was suffering from leukemia.

Last week, a parliamentary commission said the medical report was falsified.
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